If You Have A Flooded Basement, Here’s What To Do Before Calling An Emergency Plumber


A flooded basement is one of the most devastating home disasters that many of us will ever face. At the very least you’ll lose old books, Christmas decorations, and exercise equipment. At worst you’ll lose everything from the basement bedroom, your home theater, and family photos.

At Garvin’s, we want to make this trying time as easy as possible on you. That means letting you know what to do before we even get there.

  1. Identify the problem – If the entire neighborhood is flooded or if it’s been raining overnight, you probably have a pretty good idea where all of that water is coming from. But if it’s dry outside, it’s a good bet that you either have a leaky freshwater pipe or a backed up sewer. Trust us, your nose will tell you which one it is!
  2. Shut off the water (if you can) – If it’s a sewer backup, there’s obviously nothing to shut off. But if it’s a freshwater problem, shut off the main water to your home if you have easy access to it. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to do in many circumstances, considering that the main water shutoff valve is usually down in the flooded basement, and we’re about to tell you to not go down there…
  3. Don’t get in! – The biggest danger with a flooded basement is the chance of electric shock. If the water has risen to the height of the electrical sockets there’s a good chance that the water has become electrified. This could prove deadly, so if you have to go into the basement make sure that the electricity is shut off. Alternately, if the water is backed up sewage, the threat of bacteria should be enough to keep you from wading into the basement.
  4. Call an emergency plumber – No matter the time or day, call an emergency plumber. In fact, here’s our number: 303-571-5114, anywhere in the Denver area including Boulder and Longmont. A 24-hour plumber has seen all of this before and will be able to evaluate the problem and respond accordingly. Plumbers will have the right boots and equipment for all situations that will help to expedite the removal of the water.
  5. Call Your Insurance – It’s one of the sad facts of life…a basic homeowners insurance policy does not cover flooding. Most don’t cover sewer backups. Even if you don’t think your insurance doesn’t cover flooding, call anyway to inform them of what has happened. Take pictures of the damage, and keep receipts for emergency plumber services like you’ll get from Garvin’s. There’s a chance that the specific form of damage is indeed covered, depending on what caused it. It can’t hurt to ask.
  6. Find the right renovators –  When the water has been stopped and the flood has abated, it’s time to find a restoration company. You might be in a rush garvin 5when it comes to picking an emergency plumber (303-571-5114, in case you missed it), but you’ll at least have a little bit of time to research the right restoration experts. Don’t take too long, though, because you want to get them working before the mold sets in.

Basement flooding can be a horrible experience, and that’s why, as emergency plumbers, we try to make it as easy as possible during your time of need. Contact Garvin’s (where’s that number again?
Wait, here it is: 303-571-5114) whenever you need a 24-hour plumber.

Customer Feedback Regarding Our Plumbing Service and Drain Cleaning

dreamstime_xxl_18734088Every so often we like to take a look at our testimonials and see what our customers are saying about us. Actually, we do it all the time, because we’re always interested in what our customers have to say. But sometimes we like to take the time to respond to them in a public forum. Here are a few of our favorites.

“Bryan located and scoped our sewer line this morning. I want to commend him for an outstanding job. He was courteous, thorough, and professional. He discovered attributes of our sewer line that other sewer people were not able to determine. He responded quickly to every question and request that I made. I now have a far better understanding of our sewer line than I have ever had before after ten years of problems and discussions with other sewer professionals. Thank you Bryan!! I will be quick to recommend Bryan and the Garvin’s organization to anyone who asks.”

— Chuck S., Boulder

We’re so glad you’re happy with the sewer scope service that Bryan was able to deliver. You bring up an interesting point about how Garvin’s works: we like to educate our customers as much as possible. We know that if you’re informed that you’re more likely to understand why we’re recommending a service. We’re also your neighbors in Denver, so we want to do our best to help you avoid similar problems in the future.

“We had a water leak that we found at 4 am on a Sunday morning. Garvin’s Sewer Service came out immediately and walked us through the whole process. Their guys were excellent and helped us through everything. They are just a great company and I recommend them to everybody.”

— Linda W.

garvins 4Leaks are like smoke alarms…they always seem to pick the absolute worst time to happen! As a Denver emergency plumber, we understand that you didn’t pick the time that the leak happens, and you’d much rather be sleeping than giving us a call in the middle of the night. That’s why we’re ready at a moment’s notice to be your 24-hour plumber, no matter what day of the week or what holiday it might be. We’re not going to charge you extra, because we don’t want to add financial problems to the plumbing problems you’re already having. Speaking of dealing with unexpected problems…

“Great Service! I first used Garvin’s in January of 2009 and again in December of 2011. Both times they were prompt, courteous and fair priced. It’s never the right time for a sewer to back up; but Garvin’s kept the frustration to a minimum with their great customer service.”

— G. Pena, Englewood, CO

“There’s never a good time for a sewer to back up”; that’s certainly something that we can relate to! Sure, we’d like to work 8-5, but, like we said above, these things seem to happen at the worst times. When you’re in need of an emergency plumber, you want someone who can step into your home and take control of the situation, letting you know what’s happening and fixing the problem as quickly as possible in a safe, hygienic manner.

“I recently used Garvin’s Sewer Service for the first time. They installed a new hot water tank for me, and it’s top notch. They showed up on time, and conducted themselves in a professional manner. They also picked up after themselves, which I certainly appreciated. Additionally, I thought that they were fair in their pricing. They might not be the cheapest around, but given the quality they are worth what they do charge.”

— Sloan Waters

Thanks for your kind words regarding our installation of your water heater installation. We’d like to comment on something you said regarding our price, because we think you nailed it: we’re not always going to be the cheapest around. We are going to be fair, and we are going to do the best job around. When it comes to water heater repair and installation, you don’t want to go with the cheapest plumber around, what we’re dealing with — natural gas, electricity, boiling water — aren’t aspects that you want to leave up to an amateur or a plumber who advertises as being the cheapest.

“Never Knew a Technician Could Make My Day! I encountered a backed up sewer this last week and called upon one of Garvin’s competitors, using the “Done Right Directory” which states “guaranteed Home Improvements and Repair Pros”. The competitor was quick to respond, cleaned my drain out promptly, and reported back to me that the only thing he pulled in with the snake was a “worm”…which according to him was “not a good sign”. He offered a FREE scope of my sewer which of course I took him up on. The scope suggested…or should I say his interpretation of the scope portrayed a dire situation at hand. Such, that my sewer was nearly detached from the city main. Well of course I signed up for a new sewer! The proposal totaled $13,000.00. Thanks to a great neighbor who had worked with Garvins and his urging…I called Garvins seeking some direction. Garvins scoped the sewer for me the following day….and there was nothing spotted in the scope that suggested a need for a new sewer line. Garvins saved me $13,000.00 today and I can’t thank them enough. I will be singing their praises to all my neighbors and peers. Thanks Bryan and Mitch!!! See you next year!”

— Sheila S.

Unfortunately, we hear this all the time. Unscrupulous sewer repair companies will use any small problem in your sewer system to suggest the worst. You don’t need a new roof just because a single shingle came off, you don’t need a new car when a headlight goes out, and you don’t need a new sewer line just because there was a worm found. Sewer lines can have holes and work for many more decades. Because Garvin’s doesn’t offer sewer replacement services, we make a great third-party option for when you want a second opinion.

We love hearing from customers and hope to hear from you. Contact us with your Garvin’s questions, concerns, and praises, and maybe you’ll find yourself on our testimonials page before long!

5 Way To Clean Your Drain Yourself…That You’ll Seriously Regret

Here at Garvin’s, we’ve always been plumbers. After all, it’s a family-owned business and has been passed down through three generations now. We grew up knowing what will and won’t work on a simple drain clog, and since we have the professional equipment we’ve always been able to take care of our own home plumbing and sewer system.

That’s not true of our customers, and we do our best to understand when someone comes to us and tells us the wacky thing they’ve tried to do to clean out their pipes before we got there. Here are a few home remedies our customers have tried that turned out to cause more harm than good.

Coat Hangers

You wouldn’t take a coat hanger and start poking around under the hood of your car. You wouldn’t take one and ram it into your house’s electrical box. So why do some people think that it’s perfectly acceptable to try to get rid of a clog with one? When you use a piece of metal like a coat hanger that isn’t Garvins 3made for the job you’re more likely to damage your pipes and your sink’s plumbing. Not only that, but it probably won’t work, because what you’re dealing with isn’t a solid mass as you might imagine it, but a collection of grease, hair, and food particles that aren’t so easily dismissed with a pointy object like a hanger.

Garden Hose

Well this is a fun one. Some people, realizing that a professional drain cleaner sometimes uses a water jet to clean the pipes, have actually tried to use pressurized water to get rid of their clogs. Their first thought was to open the window, take off the screen, and pull the garden hose into the kitchen.

You can probably imagine that this is a bad idea. First of all, they couldn’t get a firm seal over the sink, and that leads to water being sprayed everywhere. And not only water, but whatever else was floating just above the clog, so it got gross fast. Plus, a garden hose just doesn’t have the PSI of water pressure that a professional unit has.

dreamstime_l_2667231It was even worse, though, when they did get a solid seal over the drain. The pressure would build for a fraction of a second, but the clog would hold. When that happens, the hose is going to fly off out of the sink and smack anyone standing near.

Drain Cleaners

It’s been a couple of months since we’ve railed against drain cleaners, so we figure it’s about time! We hate chemical drain cleaners. They seldom work, and even when they do they punch a very small hole in the clog and then drain away, leaving the remainder of the clog to repair itself in a short time. Drain cleaners are dangerous to keep in your home, and also dangerous to the next person who performs professional drain cleaning if they stick around. They’re harsh on your drain pipes, and they’re bad for the environment. Just say no to chemical drain cleaners!


Bleach is pretty amazing, we’ll admit. After all, nothing in the world can ruin your clothes and blind you faster! The problem with bleach (much like the drain cleaners mentioned above) is that it’s very caustic when concentrated and ineffective when it’s not. So, much like drain cleaners, it’s just not going to work. Even more, it could damage your sink basin and metal components, and will be cause potential health hazards if it sticks around in your pipes for too long.

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t give simple drain cleaning a try before calling us. After all, a simple sinks-only plunger can do wonders and save you a lot of money. But if that doesn’t work, you should probably give a professional plumber a call. Contact Garvin’s when your drains are clogged!

Toilet Seat Up Or Down? Your Local Plumber Answers The Universe’s Biggest Question

Toilets: The cause of, and solution to, most of life's problems.

Toilets: The cause of, and solution to, most of life’s problems.

We don’t usually like to get too political around here, but it’s a highly-political year and we thought we’d tackle the biggest debate the world has ever known. And you’ll get a definitive answer. You’re welcome.

As plumbers, we believe that we have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in people’s bathrooms. That’s why we’re asking…

The Question: Toilet Seat Up Or Down?

You have to ask yourself “why did this subject even come up in the first place?” Was it a thing before a stand-up comedian needed material and made up some story about his wife complaining about the toilet seat being left up?

We’re guessing that the idea of men putting the toilet seat back down after using it came from some sort of watered-down chivalry. Men aren’t laying their coats down over puddles so that women won’t get their feet wet, and they’re no longer going on quests to save women from dragons. (Not that men wouldn’t fight dragons, it’s just that they can’t because they’re not around anymore. Rumor has it dragons went extinct because all of the female dragons killed all the male dragons for leaving the toilet seat up.) Men’s small act of chivalry when they put the toilet seat down today seems to say “I will put you first in this scenario, and I will touch the dirty toilet seat so that you don’t have to.” Men!

At the same time, men who feel put-upon to follow the rules of the bathroom will say something like “I thought you wanted equal rights, so I’m just treating you equally and letting you take care of your own toilet seat needs.”

Men like this often go as extinct as dragons.

The Answer

So, let’s say that all things are equal and that chivalry has nothing to do with it. When that happens, you have to let math decide. Percentage-wise, women tend to sit down 100% of the time they use the restroom, and men tend to sit down about 10% of the time they use the restroom. Any way you look at it, the toilet seat is being used in the down position a greater percentage of time than it is in the up position. Math wins the day!


  • All male household
  • Man with a bladder control problem (not that he’d admit that he has a bladder control problem)

Well, that was exciting! We hope you didn’t mind your local plumbing company weighing in on two of the most important questions that can be answered in a household.

Garvin 2

You Know Who To Call For Plumbing Service. But Do You Know Who To Avoid?

dreamstime_xxl_4603668With over 80 years of sewer and plumbing service to the people of the Denver area, Garvin’s has built the reputation it deserves as the go-to plumbers along the Front Range.

Being in business so long, we’ve seen many plumbing companies come and go. Sometimes it’s because of poor management, but more often it’s because they simply didn’t have the skills or were downright unscrupulous. We’re not going to name names, but when you’re looking for a local plumber, it’s important that you ask a few questions and get some verification on them before you write them a check or even let them step one foot in the door.

Just Say No To Door-To-Door

While it happens more often with painters and roofers, there will probably be a time in your life where a salesman for a local plumbing company shows up on your door. They might tell you some story about having ordered too many water heaters and they’re in the neighborhood doing a water heater installation for you neighbor, and would you like one? If that’s the story, slam the door! (in the nicest way possible, of course). It’s more likely they’ll say that they have had complaints from your neighbors about clogged pipes, and that many of your neighbors have needed a complete sewer system replacement, so why not go ahead and have yours taken care of? The fact is, if you’re not having problems with your pipes, then there’s no need to have them dug up and replaced. And if you are having problems with clogs, replacement should be the absolute last step that is determined by a third-party sewer camera operator who can verify the underground problems you’re having.

When you think it through, which is going to be the better plumbing company: the one that you thoroughly researched and then called? Or the one that randomly showed up on your doorstep one day?

Check The Reputation

The internet today has made it easier than ever to check up on a business. You can read reviews, check their rankings on websites, and find out from the Better Business Bureau if they’re a company in good standing. Unfortunately, these garvins 2ratings systems can sometimes be manipulated. For instance, what are the chances that a company with 100 reviews would have a perfect five-out-of-five stars? Pretty slim. A 4.8 is much more believable.

Similarly, check for the number of reviews that there have been. If a company has one review and a 5-star rating, that’s nice. But that could be the owner’s mom (or more likely the owner) putting that up. We’d pick a 4.8-star company with lots of reviews over a 5-star company that has one review.

Check for Certification

Anyone can open up a storefront and claim to be a plumber. And they might start doing the work of a plumber. This is Illegal, of course. The problem is that it might take months or years for anyone to figure it out and legally shut the business down. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the company you’re calling has the proper certification, licenses, and insurance coverage so that you’re properly covered.

Garvin’s has been Denver’s local plumber and sewer service experts for more than seven decades, and we’re planning on being here for many more as your licensed plumbers. We’ve got the reputation you can count on, so when you’re in need give Garvin’s a call!


3 Very Different Times Garvin's Can Be There For Your Plumbing Services Needs

dreamstime_xxl_22002514Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we are full-service plumbing contractors. As our name suggests, we can tackle your sewer cleaning needs with ease, because we have the equipment and the knowhow to tackle any clog you send our way.

But what about plumbing service? Sure, we handle the water going out, but what about all that water coming in? We’re happy to say that Garvin’s is there for you no matter what plumbing problems you’re having, and that doesn’t just mean when you’re having trouble. Here are three ways that Garvin’s can be involved with your home or business.


If you’re having a new home built, Garvin’s can ensure that all your pipes are properly installed. We say “properly” because it’s so incredibly important to make sure that absolutely every pipe is installed at the right angle, every gasket is secured properly, and ever joint is tight. If pipes aren’t properly installed, it can cause problems that show up weeks, months, or years later, well after the pipes are sealed in behind drywall and under flooring. Don’t take the risk of hiring a subpar plumber to take care of your plumbing services; give Garvin’s a call and know that you’ll be getting the best the first time.


Remodels can be tricky, and they often have to be done quickly. Unlike new construction, there’s often someone watching over your shoulder, wondering when you’re going to be done. “Quick, get the pipes in so that we can install the cabinets.” “Faster, we have to put in the countertop!” We completely understand that you have other contractors who are waiting on us during a remodel, so we will make sure to move quickly and efficiently. We’ll also make sure your old piping gets properly disposed of, considering sewer pipes are a bio-hazard.

Basic Repairs

Of course, Garvin’s is there for all of your plumbing repair needs. Basic plumbing services run the gamut from a simple garbage disposal fix to discovering why your water bill doubled last month. We can fix your incoming plumbing (white water) and your outgoing plumbing (black water). If you’re not getting the water pressure you need, it could be a problem with leaky pipes on your end. If you’ve got a clog, we can help determine if it’s in your pipes or if it’s the city’s problem.

Emergency Plumber Repairs

When you’re up to your ankles in water, Garvin’s can help you whether it’s fresh water or sewer water. (Either way, get your ankles out of the water before it rises to electrical outlet levels!) No matter the time of day, Garvins 1no matter the day of the week, no matter what holiday it is, we’re not going to charge you extra in your time of need. We’ll be your emergency plumber to get you stop the water and get it running properly again.

As you can see, Garvin’s is there for you with the sewer and plumbing service that will keep your home running for years to come. When you’re looking for the best, give us a call!

How Best To Avoid Needing an Emergency Plumber


dreamstime_xxl_3012593At one time or another in your life, you’re going to need a plumber. But with a little bit of information, it becomes less likely that you’ll need an emergency plumber. Here are some tips that can ensure that your chances of needing a 24-hour plumber in the middle the night are diminished.

Know where you main water shutoff is

You’re having dinner one night and suddenly the kitchen ceiling collapses, dumping gallons of water! You never knew anything was up, and now you have a freshwater leak from the upstairs bathroom pipes that’s still spraying water into your kitchen. Yes, you’re going to need an emergency plumber sometime tonight, but what do you do during the 20 minutes it takes him to get there?

There’s no more important way to stop your water emergency as it’s happening than to know where your water shutoff is. The main water shutoff in a house with a basement is usually in the utility room and will often be on the side of the house closest to the street and close to the water heater. It often comes up through the concrete floor and will be the first valve from the ground. If it’s a wheel-type (washer shutoff valve), turn it clockwise until you can’t turn anymore. If it’s a ball valve (a lever type) turn it until it is perpendicular to the pipe (or until the water leak stops).

Check your pipes for active leaks

Most sink pipes in homes today are made from either ABS or PVC. Both of them will last longer than any of use will be alive, so it’s never the pipe that leaks. The joints, however, are a different story. Because the pipes won’t bend, they have to be cut and then put back together with elbows and traps. Before something goes terribly wrong, it’s good to check for leaks under sinks, in your basement, and on the walls. Doing so could help you find a tiny “drip-drip” leak before it becomes a “gush-gush” leak. If you find a leak, give your local plumber a call.

Periodically check for signs of leaks

Don’t just look for the leak, look for the signs of a leak: warped cabinet boards under sinks, yellow spots on the main floor ceiling below an upstairs bathroom, and mold or mildew can all be signs that there’s water coming out where there shouldn’t be.

Don’t ignore the signs from your drains

Gurgle gurgle…that’s one sound that means you might be in need of drain cleaning before long. Also, don’t ignore it if all of your drains…sink, toilet, and shower…start moving slowly at the same time, as this means you main sewer line is likely clogged. Also, if you notice that your water pressure is suddenly lower than it was before, there’s a good chance that an unnoticed leak is hiding somewhere inside (or, in the case of a sprinkler system, outside) your house

When you have plumbing problems, Garvin’s is there to tackle all of the plumbing services that you can throw at us. But we’d rather fix a leak that’s under control instead of one that had extra time to damage your house. Knowing where your emergency shutoff is and looking for problems before they happen are just two ways to protect you home.




4 Reasons Why Garvin’s Is The Company To Call When You Need Emergency Plumbing Services


dreamstime_xxl_23696701It probably started as a drip that you didn’t even notice. Maybe it was coming from your sink, a tiny leak under the basin that had been working loose for a decade. Or maybe it was the drain pipe that took a sink’s wastewater from the bathroom to the main sewer line, and the seal broke and created a slow drip into the basement ceiling.

Suddenly, the unnoticed leak becomes a huge problem as the gasket or fitting gives way, unleashing a torrent of water everywhere in your home. Suddenly you have a plumbing emergency, one that can only be taken care of by an emergency plumber. If you’re in that situation now, call 303-571-5114. And since it’s very unlikely that you stopped to read a plumbing blog in the middle of your emergency, write that number down for later…because eventually everyone needs an emergency plumbing services.

Why is that the number to call? Because that’s Garvin’s phone number, and we can handle your problems when you’re looking for a 24-hour plumber.

Immediate Contact With Your Plumber

When it’s 2 am and you’re up to your ankles in water, do you want to call someone who then relays your problem on to someone else? No, you want to talk to the plumber, one who can hear and understand the fear in your voice! When you call us after hours you’ll be connected directly to one of our emergency plumbers who has a van at the ready to come and help you fix your problem. Speaking of which…

We’ve Got The Speed

Garvin’s is ready to go. We’re not just in Denver; we’re throughout the Denver area and in every suburb, all the way up to Longmont. You’ll get someone who’s close to you so that we can get your problem taken care of a quickly as possible. Who knows, your emergency plumber might be just a few minutes away.

Oh, and We Won’t Send a Contractor

You know one of the biggest compliments we get? Here it is: we’re not subcontracting our work out. People have often told us about how other businesses will send them some guy in a windowless van and an unmarked t-shirt.

Not us! Garvin’s will send you someone in a Garvin’s van who has a Garvin’s shirt or badge on, and that means that they will have the full Garvin’s training behind them. This means that they know plumbing, they know sewers, and they know how to treat you and your house with respect.

No Overcharge For Nights, Weekends, or Holidays

One of the most popular aspects of Garvin’s charging policy is that we don’t charge more for nights, weekends, or holidays. We realize that if you’re calling us in an emergency that you already have enough problems; why make them worse with an exorbitant bill?

Garvin’s has been offering sewer cleaning and plumbing service for over 75 years, and we know how to treat our neighbors in the Denver area. When you’re in need of an emergency plumber, give us a call. Here’s that number again: 303-571-5114




Why You Need A Sump Pump


Garvin's Sewer Service will handle whatever drain cleaning and rooter service you need.There are many people over the years who have thought they didn’t need a sump pump, and the next thing they know they’re throwing out their grandparents’ wedding photos because the paper has become ruined.

So the question becomes, do you need a sump pump? The fact is, more people should have a sump pump than currently do, but they’re simply unaware that a sump pump is a good idea. Here are a few tips on whether or not you might want to invest in a new sump pump, or get sump pump repair on the one you currently have.


If you live on a floodplain, you’ll want a sump pump. The problem is, flood planes don’t look like most people imagine. The words “floodplain” makes most people think about a house that sits right next to the river. Of course that house is going to flood!

But for many houses, it’s the entire neighborhood that’s in danger. There might be city blocks between your house and the river. In fact, there may be many city blocks between you and a small creek or drainage ditch and you’ll still be in the same danger! Too many people don’t even realize the possibility of flooding is there because of the almost non-existent amount of water flowing most of the time. But when a flash flood comes, floodplains are farther-reaching than most residents imagine.

Leaky Basement

If you have a history of a leaky basement, there’s a good chance that you already have a sump pump. But if there’s a dry spell and you don’t think to get your sump pump maintenance taken care of, you could be in big trouble next time there’s a leak in your basement.

Low Spot

Many people don’t realize that they even live in a low spot until the day that there’s water flooding the basement. For instance, if there’s any grade in your yard that’s leaning toward the house, your house is suddenly the low spot! At this point you might start getting water in your window light wells, and as soon as they fill up the basement windows are going to burst and you’re going to have a lot of water in your basement. Let’s hope you have a working sump pump to get the water back outside.


If you have a bathroom in your basement, there’s always the chance that you could get a bad leak or that someone will leave the sink going just before you head off on vacation. Basement bathrooms are nice, but they can lead to troubles if you don’t have a sump pump.


Sprinklers can end up being more trouble than you’d expect. First of all, if the sprinkler head or pipe near the basement light well bursts, it’s unlikely you’ll notice until it’s too late. Also, long term leaks with outdoor faucets can cause your foundation to wear away, causing the leaks into your basement that we mentioned above.

Have Insurance

Garvin’s provides expert sump pump repair. But some jobs are beyond the work of any sump pump, so it’s a good idea to get insurance. Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water-related disasters, so be sure to have a rider.

If you need new sump pump installation or sump pump repair, Garvin’s is ready to take care of it so that your house is protected. Contact us the moment you need help.

4 Ways To Check For Hidden Leaks In Your Home


Garvin's Sewer Service can use a sewer snake like no one else!Leaks can cause of host of problems in your home. Not only can they waste water and cost you money, but they can also cause big problems in the unseen areas of your home, including mold, rotting, and eventually drywall collapse.

At Garvin’s, our plumbers would rather give you a little advice than to have you call us in a fearful frenzy. Here are some ways to detect leaks so that you can have us take care of them before you need an emergency plumber at 3:00am.

Watch Your Bill

If you see a sudden spike in your water bill, it could be because this was the first month you used your sprinklers or you had guest over for a week. But if everything else about your water habits has remained the same and your bill goes up, it’s likely that you’ll need to give a plumber a call so that we can help you find the leak.

Watch The Water Meter

This one is actually kind of fun. Turn off all of the running water in your house, including sprinklers, faucets, washing machines, dishwashers (also, don’t do this right after a shower to ensure that your water heater has had time to refill). Then go outside and take a look at your water meter. Unlike an electric meter that’s always spinning a little to keep things like the refrigerator powered, your water meter should be stopped. If it’s spinning quickly, you’ve got a bad leak somewhere. If you leave it off for a couple of hours and come back to find that it has moved, you’ve got a slow leak that should still be taken care of.

Watch the Toilet

It’s an old trick, but a good one. Put a few drops of food coloring into the toilet bowl tank and wait 15 minutes. If the color shows up in your toilet bowl, you’ve got a leak, and we’d love to help you with it so that you don’t waste any more water.

Watch Outside

Remember, you’re not just using water inside. Check sprinkler heads to see if you’ve got one that’s broken or putting out so much water that it’s running across your sidewalk. Also check exterior faucets, as they’re more likely to crack due to the freeze/thaw cycle every winter.

Watch the Skies! (or at least the ceiling)

Always be aware of the ceiling that is directly below a tub, shower, toilet, or sink. If you start to notice yellowing or sagging in this area, there’s a good chance that your fixture is leaking. It might not seem like a big deal, but little leaks can turn into big leaks quickly, which could cause your ceiling to collapse. And no matter how small the leak is, any water that leaks into your home could cause a mold problem that’s very hard to fix. If you think you might have such a leak, give your local plumbers a call.

If you notice any of these problems that are beyond your control, we invite you to contact us as soon as possible before the situation gets worse. Garvin’s has the best plumbers around, and we look forward to hearing from you!